Self Management Support

Living Well with IBD

What is Living Well with IBD?

The Living Well with IBD course is a self-management programme delivered over six weeks in weekly sessions of two and a half hours. The course involves putting you, as the person who is living with Crohn’s or colitis, at the centre of your care. It encourages you to think about the lifestyle, thoughts, moods and behaviours that make up who you are, in addition to your health condition. The programme was originally developed at Stanford University as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme (CDSMP). Through a collaboration with Beaumont Hospital since 2012, volunteers from the ISCC have a wealth of experience in delivering this programme to people who are living with, or impacted by, a range of long-term health conditions. The Beaumont Hospital programme is delivered as Better Health, Better Living under the management of principal psychologist Dr Jennifer Wilson O'Raghallaigh. The ISCC has been delighted to partner with Beaumont Hospital in this amazing programme. In 2018 we obtained our own licence to run the programme and Living Well with IBD was born!

Our Support Services Coordinator Laura waits for the participants to arrive for our very first Living Well With IBD course, September 2018 

Self-management is at the centre of Living Well with IBD and is designed to enable you to deal with the daily challenges of living with a health condition such as IBD. It can help you to develop the skills you need to become an active self-manager of your condition and to live a happier and healthier life. YOU decide what is important to you and you are then given the skills to help you achieve these goals.

Techniques used include:

What can I expect from the programme?

During the six 2.5-hour weekly sessions you will meet between 12 and 14 other people who are also living with or impacted by IBD. If you are comfortable to do so, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences with each other. Previous participants in the Stanford CDSMP courses have reported the following outcomes:

Who runs the programme?

The programme is delivered by two trained leaders, at least one of whom is living with a long-term health condition. Living Well with IBD is usually delivered by two leaders who have the lived experience of living with IBD. 

Is this a support group or group therapy?

The Living Well with IBD programme is a practical series of classes that teaches new skills. Although many people find it supportive it isn’t therapy! It is taught by volunteers who have the lived experience of a long-term health condition, and sometimes also by healthcare providers from many disciplines.

Who can take part?

Anyone who is living with a long-term health condition such as Crohn’s or colitis is welcome to attend the programme. With the help of dedicated volunteers, many support organisations have been running this programme for people with a number of health conditions, with a great deal of success. People worldwide have found it useful for a wide range of conditions, including Crohn’s and colitis.

Testimonials from past participants

To be honest, it just felt like I had found the remaining pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. I would wholeheartedly recommend that all patients who have any chronic condition get to avail of this programme.

The most important thing that I have accomplished in the group is learning to speak more openly about my condition. Previously I would not have spoken openly about the level of pain or discomfort that I suffer… the other thing I learned was to set achievable targets or goals for the week ahead... once you have reached your target there is a great sense of accomplishment and pride.

The camaraderie in the room had an uplifting effect. It was very comfortable being with other people with similar conditions. One of the most helpful outcomes of the course is the various relaxation techniques. We were taught about and practised breathing exercises and also used imagination techniques to virtually go to a Happy Place!

Is there a fee?

The programme itself is offered free of charge, however we ask for a discretionary payment of €15 for the excellent accompanying handbook Self-management of Long-term Health Conditions

When are the next programmes?

The next Living Well with IBD course starts on Wednesday 8th May 2019

Venue: Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, Dublin D07 RHA8

Session 1 Wednesday 8th May 2019 (6.30pm to 9.00pm)
Session 2 Wednesday 15th May 2019 (6.30pm to 9.00pm)
Session 3 Wednesday 22nd May 2019 (6.30pm to 9.00pm)
Session 4 Wednesday 29th May 2019 (6.30pm to 9.00pm)
Session 5 Wednesday 5th June 2019 (6.30pm to 9.00pm)
Session 6 Wednesday 12th June 2019 (6.30pm to 9.00pm) 
Ref: LWWIBD6

Want to register?

This course is in progress and registration is now closed. 

We will post our Autumn schedule of courses here when dates are finalised. 

Want more information?

If you still have some questions please do not hesitate to contact Laura on (01) 872 1416 (Mon, Wed, Fri 9.30am to 12.30pm) or email laura@iscc.ie 


Living Well with IBD has been assisted with a grant from the Social Innovation Fund of Ireland.